I had to find him. I don’t know why. It was a feeling, deep down. Just my luck, to have a quest that I had to carry out when I loathed the thought. But a job is a job, a quest is a quest, as the saying goes.
So I went through my pre-job checklist. Complete. I kept it that way. My department never knew when we’d have to leave, and leave quickly. They called me “Boy Scout” to my face. I don’t want to know what they called me behind my back.
Morning hadn’t burned off the fog yet, not completely, not in the forest. I knew what that meant. Even tougher to find him. I had a good idea where to start, though. He would head for the nearest open body of water of any size, in this case, the shores of Superior. Once I got there, I climbed out of the car and began to search. The fog under the trees was thicker here. Much thicker. Damn! I might have to do the Awful Thing to finish my task. And of course, I had to keep it secret.
Once I was surrounded by fog, I knew. The Awful Thing. I hated it. But it was the only way. Preparing myself physically meant getting my clothes off. Mentally was harder, but finally I could see it, that spot of light I had to walk through. This time, I would run. Anything to get through the Awful Thing and get home.
I closed my eyes, squeezing tight, until the light was big enough. Then I stood and took off running. With my eyes closed. But I had done it many times. There, as I reached the light, the Awful Thing happened. I opened my eyes and kept going.
The lake was just ahead, and I knew exactly where he would be—sitting on the edge of the highest point he could reach, daring himself to try again to fly. Why they let patients with that kind of delusion out of sight, I’ll never know. But there he was. I trotted up to him, took his wrist gently and pulled him away, urging him to stand. I got him back to the car, and focused on the Awful Thing going away. He would see—couldn’t help that—but they wouldn’t believe him anyway. Who’s going to believe an inhabitant of the psychiatric hospital when he says his orderly is a werewolf?
[Photo flash fiction prompt: 500 words or less, must use at least two pictures, from M/M Rainbow Rebels Group (FB)]
With apologies to Amaroq, my first werewolf. It’s not being the werewolf that’s “Awful.” It’s the transition because it’s very painful.